Consumption of contaminated water is extremely dangerous and can lead to serious illness. A large number of diseases nowadays are waterborne. Water used for the following purposes needs to be safe and free of any contamination.
- Water for drinking
- Water for cooking as an ingredient
- Water for processing of food
- Water for washing of equipment, utensils, containers, kiosks etc.
- Water for hand washing
While selection of foods is of great importance so as not to introduce hazards, which may be carried through the rest of the chain, it is equally or even more important to follow correct preparation and processing techniques, when water is used as an ingredient. From time to time carry out a chemical and bacteriological examination of the water from a NABL accredited/FSSAI notified laboratory. Water testing helps in designing a suitable treatment processes though the proper selection of filters and filtration techniques.
According to FSSAI regulations water used for drinking, manufacturing, processing, cooking and washing.
- It must be potable, in continuous supply, of sufficient quantity, accessible and at a close distance or on one’s own premises
- Must have adequate storage arrangement and stored in a sanitary state in closed containers with taps for withdrawal
- Water used in beverages must be of an equivalent standard as that of drinking water
- Containers and water dispensers should be regularly emptied, cleaned and dried (by turning upside down)
- Clean the water storage tanks periodically and keep records of the same in a register
- Water used for food handling, washing, should be of such quality that it does not introduce any hazard or contamination to render the finished food article unsafe
Ice and Steam
Ice and steam can contaminate the food. Even though ice is in a frozen state but that does not remove chemical & biological hazards. Ice which is not made from the potable water, when added to food and beverages can introduce hazards into food. Both ice and steam that is produced, handled and stored must not contaminate food. The following precautions need to be followed:
- Prepare ice only with potable water
- Store and transport the ice in a sanitary manner
- Do not store food or beverages in the same container that was used for storing ice
Non potable water can be used but only for cleaning of equipment not coming in contact with food. Non-potable water must not come in contact with food steam production, firefighting and refrigeration equipment. The pipes installed for this purpose must not carry water for other purposes and should not present any direct or indirect risk of contamination of the raw material, dairy products or food products so processed, packed and kept in the premise.
Non potable water pipes
- Must be clearly distinguished from those in use for potable water
- Containers & Systems should be identified and labeled
- Must not connect with, or allow re fluxing into potable water supply.